AP DISCOMS, rather than acting in public interest, have acted contrary to public interest: SC

The Supreme Court in a judgement said, “We strongly deprecate such a conduct of the appellants — DISCOMS, which are instrumentalities of the State.”

The Supreme Court was referring to the conduct of DISCOMS in Andhra Pradesh for purchasing power at a higher rate.

These remarks were made by a Supreme Court bench of Justices L.N. Rao and B.R. Gavai in its verdict on a plea filed by AP DISCOMS challenging the January 7, 2020 order passed by the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) allowing the appeal of Hinduja National Power Corporation Limited (HNPCL).

“The appellants — DISCOMS, rather than acting in public interest, have acted contrary to public interest. For defying the orders passed by this Court, we could very well have initiated the action against the officials of the appellants — DISCOMS for having committed contempt of this Court, but we refrain ourselves from doing so,” Supreme Court said.

“We ask a question to ourselves, as to whether public interest, which is so vociferously pressed into service in the present matter by the appellants — DISCOMS, lies in purchasing the power at the rate of Rs 3.82 per unit from HNPCL or by purchasing it at the rate of Rs 4.33 per unit from KSK Mahanadi,” the judgement said.

“Though serious allegations of mala fide have been made by HNPCL, we do not find it necessary to go into those allegations. However, in our view, the present case would squarely fit in the realm of ‘legal malice’ or ‘malice in law,” the judgement said.

“…filed by the appellants — DISCOMS, are acts, which have been done wrongfully and wilfully without reasonable and probable cause. It may not necessarily be an act done out of ill feeling and spite. However, the act is one, affecting public interest and public good, without there being any rational or reasonable basis for the same,” it added.




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